29 October 2023

Yesterday (28 October) a tragic accident took place at the Kostenko coal mine, part of our Temirtau operations in Kazakhstan. At the time of writing there are 44 confirmed fatalities, with two miners still missing. There were 252 people underground at the time of the explosion.

It is impossible to summon words that adequately respond to the immense tragedy that has taken place. Our thoughts are especially with the families of those who have lost loved ones, but also for their colleagues and communities who have suffered grievous loss. We recognise that there is no adequate compensation for the losses they have suffered, but we will do everything in our power to support them in the weeks and months ahead.

ArcelorMittal has owned these mines in Kazakhstan since 1995. Unfortunately, operating them has involved inherently high safety risks owing to their complex geology, and this has led to a number of fatal accidents over the past two years. It is little consolation to say that the company expended considerable effort, further reinforced since 2020, in improving the safety performance of the ArcelorMittal Temirtau operations.

Against this backdrop, despite the considerable efforts made to stabilize the situation, we agreed with the government of Kazakhstan to find a new way forward that ensured the sustainability of the operation.

Months ago, we entered into discussions about transferring ownership of ArcelorMittal Temirtau back to the government and we had signed a principle agreement last week before this tragic accident. The government of Kazakhstan confirmed this on Saturday when the President and the Prime Minister visited the plant and said they would be looking to complete the transaction as soon as possible.

For now, it is appropriate that we mourn the passing of our colleagues – the President has announced today (29 October) is a national day of mourning in Kazakhstan. It will also be a day of mourning across all of ArcelorMittal.

Finally, this tragic accident serves as reminder that no matter the good work we have done to improve safety in the group, there is much more to do. We have no greater priority.

Aditya Mittal, CEO